The Exercising Presidents

Posted by Mike Merritt in Politics on | No Comments

I don’t often agree with Michelle Malkin, but occasionally I do.  Today she has an article comparing the criticism from some on the left regarding President Bush’s lengthy workout regimen versus the praise for Barack Obama’s similarly time consuming routine.

While I agree with Michelle regarding the hypocrisy from the left, I think she’s cherry picking when it come to her criticism.

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Voters Remorse from the Left

Posted by Mike Merritt in Election 2008 on | No Comments

The liberal base and far-left are unhappy that they’re not getting the sufficiently liberal president they wanted.  Sorry to be snarky, but excuse me if I don’t give you my sympathy.  If you’d been paying attention during the election, you might have seen that the man you thought was going to bring about a renewal of completely leftist domestic policy and dovish foreign policy never existed.  Obama has never presented himself as a leftist ideoulouge and hardliner and it was quite apparent for a long time.  So why are you whining now?

Fear not, though.  Some elements of Obama’s domestic policy may shape up to be liberal enough to keep you just satisfied.  In particlar, it looks like the Education, Energy, and Health posts could go to liberals.  And there might be others.  But to pretend for a second that posts like Defense were ever going to go to a liberal was wishful thinking at best.  Obama has been singing the praises of Robert Gates since before election day.

So, next time you want a leftist for a president, pay attention to who you’re nominating.  Just don’t whine after he was elected when you ignored the obvious signs before hand.


Is Religion Inescapable?

Posted by Mike Merritt in Religion on | No Comments

That seems to be the argument David Hume is making over at The Secular Right:

The fact is that religious traditions are a part of human culture, and they interact with ostensibly non-religious parts of human culture.  To extirpate all that is religious from one’s life is to extirpate human culture.

The post is about the “War Against Christmas” hoopla that comes up every December.  Hume argues that religious traditions and celebrations have been going on for centuries, even before Christianity.  And of course, he’s right.  The Christmas tree?  Santa?  Both (or at least elements of both) are said to descend from pagan traditions.  The same case can be made for many elements of the Judeo-Christian tradition.  For example, flood stories similar to Noah’s flood has been mentioned in texts since the Sumerian culture existed.

My only quibble with his argument is that Hume uses “culture” where he should probably use either “history” or “nature.”  The first becaue it is undeniable that human history is inexplicably linked with the history of religion.  The second because humans do have a tendency to go for the “it’s bigger than you and me” reasoning for something they can’t explain.  And because if one study is true, a predisposition to religion may quite literally be in our genes.


The American Nepotist Class

Posted by Mike Merritt in Politics on | No Comments

A nepotistic-like succession of Caroline Kennedy to the likely soon-to-be-vacated seat of Senator Hillary Clinton doesn’t seem to be garnering much support, at least amongst those in the blogosphere.  The idea of expanding the Kennedy dynasty…just because…isn’t appealing to people.  Glenn Greenwald wrote last week:

The Senate alone — to say nothing of the Houseis literally filled with people whose fathers or other close relatives previously held their seat or similar high office (those links identify at least 15 current U.S. Senators — 15 — with immediate family members who previously occupied high elected office).  And, of course, the current President on his way out was the son of a former President and grandson of a former U.S. Senator.

I think Greenwald brings up a good point, and he’s not the only one.

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Sullivan’s PDR

Posted by Mike Merritt in Election 2008 on | No Comments

Too bad it takes his assistant Patrick Appel to point it out:

While signing off, Andrew mentioned the months long argument he and I have had with regard to Sarah Palin’s fifth child. I am the only other person who has read all the obstetrician interviews, the interview with a reporter at the scene, and all the primary sources. I strongly believe that there is nothing to this story.

Also, on Sullivan’s harping on the birth not being reported in the hospital records:

This is highly misleading. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) (pdf) protects patient information. The “formal record” Andrew is referring to is a list of newborn babies on the Mat-Su website. This list is voluntary. Parents have to give their approval for their children to be listed (The Dish checked with the hospital). Trig not being on this list isn’t proof of anything.

Sullivan wanted the medical records released, even after the election was done and over, insisting that it would all be over only if Palin would do that. To me, that’s like those conspiracy theorists practically screaming for Obama to appear on national television with his birth certificate,because only if he would do that, there would be no question anymore.

Questioning the official record is fine when something seem to smell nasty.  But when, time and again, proof has been offered, it really is time to move on.  Continuing to harp on it makes it look like you have a derangement syndrome.